Introduction to Primary Markets Qualification (IPMQ)
In light of ongoing international concerns with respect to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and in the interest of maintaining the health of our members, delegates and staff, we have made the decision to postpone the ICMA Introduction to Primary Market Qualification (IPMQ) in London on 28-30 April.

A new date for this course will be announced in due course.

Please contact ICMA Education for more information.

Download brochure Since the onset of the global financial crisis the role of the primary markets in providing funding has increased significantly. With limitations on their capital, banks can no longer play a dominant role in providing finance. The securities markets have increasingly taken up the task of key provider of funds.

This qualification offers participants a broad overview of international finance, from the different entities requiring finance to the roles of the banks and securities markets in providing that finance.

By completing the programme you will be able to:
  • Identify the key users and providers of finance in the primary markets and their differing needs
  • Understand the key attributes of debt and equity from a primary market perspective, and key concepts of corporate finance such as CAPM and WACC
  • Understand the key financing characteristics of the term loan market, the bond markets and equity markets
  • Examine the importance of securities investors and basic concepts of modern portfolio theory
  • Understand the different methods of underwriting and syndication in the primary markets
  • Examine the different methods of distribution and allocation
  • Review the key contractual documents in launching an international financing and the key regulations that impact the primary markets

Who should attend?

Given the increasingly dominant role of the primary markets, anyone with an interest in international finance will benefit from the programme.

This is an entry-level qualification requiring only the most basic understanding of debt and equity. However, the course also serves as a valuable basis for the more advanced and detailed study offered in the ICMA Primary Market Certificate (PMC).

Candidates should have basic quantitative skills but no prior study or work experience is required.

Programme Recognition

Candidates who are successful in gaining the Introduction to Primary Markets Qualification and are CFA Charter Holders qualify for 16.5 credit hours which can be used towards study with the CFA Institute. CFA Institute members are encouraged to self-document their continuing professional development activities in their online CE tracker.

Course Trainers

Kate Craven

Angela Yorath

Test your knowledge

Unsure if this is the right course for you? Take a short sample exam.
Download brochureThe syllabus is divided into several topic areas, which are then broken down into multiple subtopics:

1. Introduction to Financing

  • The Role of Capital Markets
  • The Users of Finance
    • Sovereigns, Supras, Agencies & Municipalities
    • Financial Institutions
    • Corporates
    • The Providers of Finance
    • Banks
    • Investors in securities
      • Debt
      • Equity
  • Short-term vs. long-term needs
  • Money Markets vs. Capital Markets
  • The Role of Investment banks
  • DCM & ECM
  • Primary markets vs. Secondary markets

2. Sources of Finance
  • Financing choices
  • Debt, equity & retained earnings
  • Characteristics of each
  • IRR and NPV
  • Cost of equity and debt
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  • Weighted Average Cost Of Capital (WACC)
  • Effects of Financial Leverage
  • Financing and Market Conditions

3. Providers of Finance: Banks
  • Principles of Banking: Leverage
  • The bank loan market
  • Working Capital Funding
  • Capital Expenditure Funding
  • Term Loans
    • Fixed / floating
    • Committed / uncommitted
    • Bi-lateral & Syndicated Loans
  • Covenants
  • Limitations of the loan market
  • Loans vs Bonds

4. Providers of Finance: Securities Markets
  • Why Invest?
  • Risk vs. Return
  • The Efficient Frontier
  • The Sharpe Ratio
  • Importance of Liquidity
  • Investor Types

5. Equity Issuance

  • Characteristics of Equity
  • Types of Equity
  • Reasons for issuance
    • The company
    • Vendors
    • The investors
  • Types of issuance
    • IPOs - Primary offerings
    • Secondary offerings
  • Going public
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Stock Market Types
  • Stock exchanges
    • Advantages and disadvantages

6. Debt Issuance – Bonds

  • Characteristics of Bonds
  • Reasons for issuance
  • Borrower Requirements
  • Types of Issuance
    • Domestic bonds
    • Foreign bonds
    • Eurobonds
    • Globals
  • Fixed Rate or Floating Rate
    • FRNs
  • Medium Term Notes
  • High Yield market

7. Syndication & Distribution Mechanisms
  • Why syndicate?
  • Understanding Underwriting
    • Several
    • Joint & Several
  • Syndicate roles
  • Choosing your lead manager/s
  • Distribution & Pricing Mechanisms
    • Auction
    • Bought Deals
    • Fixed Price Re-offer
    • “Best Efforts”
    • Bookbuilding  & Accelerated Bookbuilding
  • Geographical considerations :
    • Selling Restrictions
  • Stabilisation
  • Allocation
  • Why List?
  • Public Issues vs. Private Placements

8. Documentation & Regulation

  • Key parties
  • The Purpose of Documentation
  • Compliance considerations
  • Due Diligence & Verification
  • The Prospectus
  • Underwriting / Subscription  Agreement
  • Agreement Among Underwriters / Managers
  • Key Regulations
    • Prospectus Regulation
    • Market Abuse Regulation
    • MiFID II
    • Other regulatory considerations

9. Closing & Settlement
  • Closing Requirements
  • Role of CSDs and ICSDs
  • Role of the Common Depository
  • Security Format
    • Registered or Bearer?
  • Delivery Format
    • Physical
    • Dematerialised
    • Immobilised

The training is delivered over two and a half days with an exam taking place on the afternoon of day three.

The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions which candidates have two hours to complete. In order to pass, candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction.
Details of next courses



27-29 April 2020


ICE Education
5th Floor Milton Gate
60 Chiswell Street
London EC1Y 4SA
United Kingdom

RegisterAdd to calendar
18-20 November 2020



For security reasons, delegates who have not registered in advance will not be admitted to this course.  Delegates will be required to provide photo identification on arrival, to ensure entry.


ICMA Members: £2,250 + VAT if applicable
Non Members: £2,750 + VAT if applicable


Should you have any queries, please contact

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